Best Book Covers of 2019

Posted December 6, 2019 by Maire in meme, Whimsy / 0 Comments

This week’s Friday Favourites asks you to go ahead and judge a book by its cover. The theme this week is Best Book Covers of 2019.

Friday Favourites is hosted at Something of the Book. Skibble on over and see what they’re talking about today!

Best Book Covers according to whom?

To be honest, I’m not sure what the criteria is for the best book covers. Is it the creative use of trope? Colour? Negative Space? Clutter?

I went to art college and I can’t figure this sort of thing out. All I know is, headless protagonists and butt-shots aren’t a great idea. Thank you, Jim C Hines, for illustrating precisely why.

Best Book Covers of 2019 according to me

Of course, if someone reminds me of a cover that was absolutely swoon-worthy and I missed it, I’m open to make additions.

Use of colour

Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars uses primary printing colours as a wonderful contrast. By printing colour, of course, I mean Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Aside from the grey below the hand, those are the only colours represented. I particularly like how the use of the colours in the lines of the hand give a 3D effect.

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, however, is a wonderful study in monochromatics. Blues and Greys are very closely tied together, because greys are usually tinted with either blue for cool tones, or magenta for warm hues. There’s a lovely contrast and progression with the grey nautilus-shell figure in the corner fading into the starry blue background. The swirl of the nautilus and the cool-toned rocket flare on the vessel give a feeling of motion through the dark space.

Dangerous Images

I may not read YA, but I can appreciate the cover. To be fair, quite a few people have spoken highly of Gideon the Ninth. Yes, it does have one of the best book covers I’ve seen this year. It’s possibly the most iconic book cover this year, and I mean that literally. If you look up Gideon the Ninth, the skull motif pops up everywhere. That kind of viral success is awesome for a first book.

I just don’t like the term ‘dirtbag’ that everyone keeps appending to descriptions of the voice. It turns me right the hell off. And, well, I’ve never actually been one to get on a hype train. But that’s just me and I’m self-actualized.

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling? Again, we have blues, but this time it’s a gradation of teals that shimmer from the rocks, encase the climber’s hand, and take on the glow of the title. The best part? We don’t know if that climber is alive. Is it the main character Gyre’s hand? Or is it the hand of a long-forgotten victim of the cave. That teal sure does its best to make that hand look cold, lifeless, and dead.

Some of the best book covers are literal

Not much to say here. Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers shows a rural scene with a figure walking down the road under a vast blue sky. Essentially, it’s the first chapter of the book.

Max Gladstone’s Empress of Forever shows a female figure wearing a rather chunky looking crown…or is it? I haven’t gotten started on this one yet, but I’m definitely intrigued.

Finally, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith shows exactly what we’d expect to see in the main character’s workroom. Bits and bobs of all the things a witch who take care of a vineyard would be expected to have.

What are your best book covers of 2019? I’m looking forward to all the new designs of 2020!


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